Artificial Intelligence is on the verge of penetrating every major industry from healthcare to advertising, transportation, finance, legal, education, and now inside the workplace. According to Facebook Vice President, David Marcus, there are now more than 100,000 chatbots on the Facebook Messenger platform, up from 33,000 in 2016. Chatbots digitize HR processes and enable employees to access HR solutions from anywhere. Using artificial intelligence in HR will create a more seamless employee experience, one that is nimbler and more user driven. As I detailed in my column, The Intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Human Resources, HR leaders are beginning to pilot AI to deliver greater value to the organization by using chatbots for recruiting, employee service, employee development and coaching.
Today's organizations have vastly more technology options available than ever before to improve the way their workplace operates and creates value for its stakeholders. We have a seemingly -- and for all practical purposes, effectively -- limitless set of digital options now available to us to reach important goals: Raise productivity, increase quality, and deliver on customer satisfaction, while also creating a highly competitive and rewarding workplace for our workforce. However, it's also this very technological abundance that is giving companies real pause this year as they attempt to determine how best to deliberately bring to life a more rational, manageable, and sustainable digital workplace supported by technology, given that emerging tech is relentlessly making its way into nearly everything we do in business. From an individual worker perspective, an ideal digital workplace should be significantly more usable and effective than what they have today, making work both simpler and easier, while potentially achieving that tech nirvana of being so enabling that the tech essentially gets out of the way and nearly disappears. As I summarized in my emerging enterprise tech list to watch for 2016, the amount of new advances we must soberly contemplate incorporating for our workforces is growing faster than most of us can keep up with using traditional means.
Salesforce defines the term digital transformation as the process of using digital technologies to create new -- or modify existing -- business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation; and the realm of HR is not exempt from being affected by this digital progression. In fact, the digital world of HR is a major theme for dozens of HR conferences and new applications and tools. Digital HR has been identified as the top trend by Deloitte 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, and as a result, organizations are concentrating on developing digital workplaces. According to the Deloitte report, 56 percent of businesses are redesigning their HR programs to leverage digital and mobile tools, 33 percent of HR teams use Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to deliver HR solutions and 41 percent are actively building mobile apps to deliver HR services.
Today's Smart Connected Workplace is more about experiences and less about devices. Technology is acting as our digital concierge or a helpful assistant, providing information to us when we need it. According to Brandon Buckingham, Smart Connected director for Steelcase, this is a new workplace where technology enables better experiences that allow us to navigate place, time, resources and commitments seamlessly. At the same time, it offers the influencers of how space is used, planned for and acquired detailed information to inform their choices. And, as data is aggregated over time, it provides insights into key workplace issues like culture, innovation and engagement.
The benefits of a well-designed and well-managed digital workplace should be obvious, but it's not enough to simply invest in the latest, greatest technology. The cultural shift required for embedding new ways of working demands a clear business change strategy, and most importantly, a deep understanding of employees' needs.